Today, ahead of the September 1st European debut of the Björk Digital exhibit at Somerset House, Björk conducted the world’s first live motion capture streamed press conference. The Icelandic artist undertook a live Q&A, in which she was rendered in real-time as an avatar via the Unity 3D engine, ahead of the release of the full Vulnicura VR album.
Björk has long supported the convergence of music, art, and technology, embracing VR early as new medium and means for engaging fans. In September, she’s gearing up to release the full Vulnicura VR album, also developed on the Unity platform for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear headsets. But, canned VR experiences just scratch the surface of the platform’s true potential. Today’s live motion capture stream represents a major leap forward toward the near future where individuals can be placed at the center of real, live performances and entertainment experiences, from concerts to speeches and sports events, via VR.
You can find a video of the interaction on Björk’s Facebook page.
Unity’s platform and 3D engine has been at the core of some of the earliest and best VR experiences to date, from Google’s Tilt Brush to BBC’s We Wait and the Ghostbusters: Dimension exhibit. For today’s presentation, Bjork wore an XSens inertial motion capture suit in Reykjavik, from which the data was streamed to a computer running MotionBuilder in London. MotionBuilder was used to apply the mocap data to a skeleton, the bone transforms were then streamed into a character running in Unity to render and provide the final output.